ASIS&T Faculty Advisor, Prof. Rong Tang, to be ALISE president-elect

Congratulations to Professor Rong Tang for being selected as president-elect for the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE)! Professor Tang is the faculty advisor for Simmons ASIS&T, and we are incredibly proud of this accomplishment. We interviewed Professor Tang about her research and her involvement with ALISE. Read more to learn her thoughts on being president-elect, and how engaging in professional organizations relates to her career.

Tell us a little bit about your current research.

I have multiple research projects going on currently. One set of research projects is related to COVID-19 information or data: (1) I have a project looking into the COVID-19 datasets available on worldwide OGD sites, (2) a project on performing the heuristic evaluation of COVID-19 dashboards, and (3) social support and information zones of covid-19 information and vaccinations. I have a set of projects related to Research Data Management, including RDS maturity levels and RDM efforts. I have a set of projects on mobile news information behavior, which includes a journal article and a book, in collaboration with Prof. Kyong Eun Oh. I have another set of projects on paradigm shifts in the field of information. This set is associated with me serving as the lead guest editor of the JASIST special issue on this topic.

How have you been involved with ALISE throughout your career?

I joined ALISE since I was in the doctoral program at UNC-Chapel Hill. Over the years, I have been active in ALISE. I served on the ALISE Research Grant Committee. Most recently, I served as the Director of External Relations from 2017 to 2020, where I worked with the board of directors regularly on Association matters, especially advocating for the standing of the associations on social justice issues. Currently, I am the vice-Chair of the ALISE Advancement Committee. I will become ALISE’s president-elect in September 2021.

Congratulations on your position as the president-elect of ALISE! What are you looking forward to in this leadership position?

As I stated in Simmons’ announcement of this position, “we are facing tremendous challenges to the economy, daily life, social and political/ideological situations, in addition to the challenges of teaching and learning in LIS…As an educator in the LIS field, we need to be adaptive and innovative in the LIS pedagogy, but more importantly, advocate for the diverse communities that we serve through bringing in our DEI efforts to the forefront.”

In addition to the DEI efforts, I am looking forward to working with the Board of Directors to encourage innovation and thoughtful pedagogical experimentation to advance LIS education. I am also interested in developing international and global partnerships.

If you could go back in time and give yourself a helpful pointer early in your career, what would that be?

Earlier on in my career, back when I was in the doctoral program at UNC-Chapel Hill, Dr. William Shaw told me that to be committed to a career in academia, one has to have the passion and conviction, otherwise, it’s a loveless and long process. Additionally, I believe as a LIS educator, it is important to tie your teaching and research with LIS practice. So in my earlier career, I made a commitment that my teaching will be rooted in LIS practice, and this could be having guest speakers and designing projects/assignments that are LIS practice-based or have service-learning characteristics.

Any final thoughts you’d like to share?

I’d like to encourage SLIS doctoral students to be involved in ALISE activities and to form networks early on in their careers since that’s how I started and got my inspiration from.

Thank you, Professor Tang, for sharing your insight.

ASIS&T Annual Meeting Info Session

ASIS&T Annual Meeting Info Session. Thursday, Jul 15 at 5:30pm EDT. Learn about the Conference: Everything you need to know about #ASIS&T2021: What to expect, why you should attend, and a sneak peek at the conference agenda. Get Tips to Fund Your Ticket: We'll share info on covering the cost of attendance, including SLIS professional development funds and scholarship opportunities. Meet Peers & Pets. This is a BYOP (bring your own pet) event! Stop by to meet fellow students, professors, and their furry friends.
Curious about the upcoming ASIS&T Annual Meeting? Join us on Zoom on Thursday, July 15 at 5:30pm EDT to learn more about the event including what to expect, why you should attend, a sneak peek at the conference agenda, and how to fund your ticket.

And just for fun, this is a B.Y.O.P. (bring your own pet) event! Stop by to say hello to fellow students, professors, and their furry friends.

Spring 2021 Recap

Alas, the spring term has ended! It was a busy semester full of wonderful events that were put together with the support of our community. We’re proud of and thankful for the alumni, faculty, and other community members who have shared their time, experiences, and wisdom for these events. Check out the highlights of this semester’s activities below.

Career Q&A Series

We held two panels as part of the Career Q&A series. They were a hit! All panelists were Simmons alumni who shared their experiences and advice for getting into and growing in the LIS field. The panelists in Part 1 of the series included alumni Anne Pepitone, Dan Zavala, Emily Donohue, and Cynthia Cheng Correia. Part 2 featured alumni Lucy Taylor, Derek Murphy, Elizabeth Quigley, and Julie Goldman.

NEASIS&T Conference Panel

Our very own co-chairs Jennifer Sunoo and Andrew Schofield hosted a panel during the NEASIS&T 2021 Annual Conference. The panel, titled “It Took a Pandemic: Reinventing Libraries in an Era of Change,” featured Simmons students Deeth Ellis, Kevin Kidd, David Leonard, Kate Nyhan, and Jae Jennifer Rossman. The panelists discussed the ways their libraries have addressed challenges caused by COVID-19.

For more details on the panel session, check out our full recap of Simmons’ activity during the 2021 NEASIS&T conference.

Remote Usability Testing Workshop

In collaboration with UXPA, we hosted a Remote Usability Testing Workshop. After introducing usability testing, attendees had a chance to experience a mock usability testing session, using a COVID-19 vaccine information site as an example.

IS&T Lab Launch

The Information Science and Technology faculty launched the IS&T Lab website. The faculty shared their goals and visions for the lab, and student Sarah Minnear shared progress on the website. Lots of helpful feedback and ideas were shared in conversation and through an interactive Jamboard session. We can’t wait to see how the virtual lab grows in the coming months!

Screenshot of zoom meeting, with the IS7T website's News and Events page on the left and Sarah Minnear on the right. Text on webpage reads: Allen Smith Symposium, Simmons University School of Library and Information Science.

Student IS&T lab assistant Sarah Minnear presented the new IS&T lab website and plans for future development.

Screenshot of page 1 of Jamboard. The space is divided into four squares: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. Each square has sticky notes with ideas that fit the topic of each square.

We had lots of fun using Google Jamboard to brainstorm ideas and visions for the IS&T Lab.

New Media Art and IS&T: A Talk with Artist Yeseul Song

For our final event, Yeseul Song, Simmons alumna and artist, discussed how she merges information science with new media art to create interactive exhibits that challenge our understanding of how people use their senses and perceive their surroundings. Song shared thought-provoking examples from her recent work. What a great way to end the semester!

A woman with headphones is sticking her sand into one of Song's invisible sound sculptures.

Yeseul Song discussed her Invisible Sculptures pieces, which are designed for people to interact with a sculpture using senses other than sight. One of these sculptures is a sound sculpture, pictured above.

A compilation of four images of people from the public engaging with Song's Sculptures on Wheels.

Song took some of her Invisible Sculptures out of the museum and into the public using a mobile cart to bring her works to different communities.

That’s a wrap for our spring semester! Our board truly enjoyed putting these events together. Stay tuned for more events to come in future semesters.

Screenshot of board members who attended the final ASIS&T Simmons board meeting

Member of the Month: Jae Jennifer Rossman

ASIS&T Simmons Member of the month: Jae Rossman, Ph.D. Student. Includes profile picture of Jae.

This month we are featuring Jae Jennifer Rossman, a current Ph.D. student who also got an MLIS from Simmons. Read more to learn about how ASIS&T has helped Jae’s research and career.

How long have you been in SLIS, and what program are you in?

I am in the Ph.D. program, which I started in fall 2015.

What are you working on right now?

My dissertation! I’m in the research phase, doing interviews and looking for supporting documents in archives.

How has being involved with ASIS&T Simmons (or ASIS&T in general) helped you move forward in your LIS career?

ASIS&T publications have been very important for me over my career. From studying for comps or just keeping up with the field, I know that I’ll always find quality ideas and research supported by ASIS&T.

Any pets at home?

Yes! We just adopted two adorable kittens. The last time I adopted a kitten was 1998, when I started at Simmons for my master’s degree. It seems appropriate to again have the joy of kittens at a time when I’m again figuring out what the next step in my career will be.

Thank you, Jae, for sharing your experiences.

Stay tuned for more next semester!

IS&T Lab Launch 5/07 at 5:30pm

IS&T Lab Launch, presented by ASIST Simmons Friday, May 7 at 5:30, Live on Zoom

Join us Friday, May 7 at 5:30 p.m. on Zoom for the IS&T Lab Launch. The mission of the IS&T Lab is to develop a space for faculty and students to collaborate, share, learn, and explore topics in information science and technology.

Hear from SLIS faculty members about their vision for the IS&T Lab and take part in an interactive Jamboard session to collect student feedback and ideas on the future of the lab!

Two student attendees will win a $35 Amazon gift card. *See below for eligibility, participation, and selection details.

Register at

*Raffle Eligibility, Participation, & Selection Details
Attendees must be present for the entirety of the event to be eligible to win. Simmons faculty and ASIS&T Simmons board members are not eligible to participate. At the end of the event, two winners will be selected at random using The winner will be announced live at the meeting and ASIS&T Simmons treasurer will follow up to arrange prize delivery.

NEASIS&T Webinar 5/6: Establishing a Global Community of Practice in Research Data Management

Live Webinar. Establishing a Global Community of Practice in RDM: The Collaborative Development of Research Data Management Librarian Academy (RDMLA) for Worldwide Learners. Thursday, May 6, 2021, 11:30AM to 12:30 PM EDT

Join us Thursday, May 6 at 11:30 a.m. EDT for a webinar hosted by NEASIS&T and RDMLA and presented by Elaine R. Martin, Rong Tang, Ashley Thomas, and Zhan Hu. The webinar is free and open to all. Register in advance on Eventbrite.

Launched in October 2019, the Research Data Management Librarian Academy (RDMLA) was collaboratively developed by librarians, LIS faculty, and industry professionals to directly address the learning gaps in RDM training. Currently, RDMLA has 5,008 registered learners from more than 156 countries around the world. In this presentation, the RDMLA team members will outline their commitment to continuously provide comprehensive RDM training. Specifically, they will showcase three new units launched in late 2020/early 2021 in addition to the upcoming Chinese language version, produced by their translation partnership with National Taiwan University Library, which will launch summer/fall 2021. Live demos of the new and translated units will be given. They will also explore possible use applications of the RDMLA LIS faculty and librarians can use in their teaching of students and researchers. Through the RDMLA, they seek to build a global community of practice of RDM and further advance RDM practice in libraries, schools, and beyond.

For further details and speaker bios, visit our registration page

ASIS&T Interview w/ Co-Chair Jennifer Sunoo and Advisor Professor Oh

screenshot of the virtual interview with Dr. Chu, Jennifer Sunoo, and Proh. Oh


The Director of the ASIS&T Chapter Assembly, Dr. Sam Chu, interviewed ASIS&T Simmons co-chair Jennifer Sunoo and faculty advisor Professor Kyung Eun Oh about winning the Student Chapter of the Year Award in 2020. Jennifer and Prof. Oh share secrets for running a successful student chapter. Check out the interview on ASIS&T Chapters’ Best Practice Sharing site.

Member of the Month: Kevin Kidd

ASIS&T Simmons Member of the month: Kevin Kidd, Ph.D. Student. Includes profile picture of Kevin.

This month we are featuring Kevin Kidd, a current Ph.D. student who recently presented at the NEASIS&T Annual Conference. Read more to learn about Kevin’s experience with ASIS&T and how he gets involved.

How long have you been in SLIS, and what program are you in?

This is my 2nd semester. I started in the SLIS Ph.D. in Library & Information Science in September 2020.

What are you working on right now?

At the moment, I’m taking LIS621, Conducting Research, with Dr. Tang and LIS421, Social Informatics, with Dr. Rhinesmith. I’m also working full-time as Director of the Library at Wentworth Institute of Technology. It’s great to be back in school and to have the time and space to read and think about Library and Information Science. I’m still building towards an idea for my thesis, and the classes I’ve taken so far have been wonderful in helping me focus my potential topic.

How has being involved with ASIS&T Simmons (or ASIS&T in general) helped you move forward in your LIS career?

I have been a member of ASIS&T for some time, and I regularly attend the NEASIS&T conferences. In fact, I’ve been fortunate to be a presenter/panelist at NEASIS&T a couple of times over the years. Their journal – JASIST – is a key resource in our field, and I regularly read it. Hopefully, someday I’ll be able to publish in JASIST.

What are you working on that’s not library-related? (Hobbies, projects, etc.)

I am building a music studio/rehearsal space in my barn. I’m in a bluegrass/folk music band, so it will be great to have a dedicated space to play and record in.

Thank you, Kevin, for sharing your experiences.

If you’d like to share your work or experiences as a featured member, be sure to fill out the Member of the Month survey. Stay tuned for more next month!

Usability Testing 04/02 at 5:30pm EST

April 2, 2021 5:30pm. Remote Usability Testing Workshop. Presented by ASIS&T Simmons University and UXPA@Simmons.

Interested in user experience research? ASIS&T Simmons is teaming up with UXPA to present the Remote Usability Testing Workshop on Friday, April 2 at 5:30 p.m. EST.

On the agenda:

  • An introduction to user experience research and remote usability testing
  • Brief presentations on remote usability research conducted on PBcore, RDMLA, and the Johns Hopkins University COVID dashboard
  • A break-out activity with mock remote usability testing sessions
  • Q&A

The event will be hosted by Zhan Hu (PhD student), Nick Bodanza (graduate student), Jennifer Ronca (graduate student), and Wenqing Lu (PhD student).

This event is free and open to all Simmons SLIS students. To receive the Zoom link, register at

NEASIS&T Annual 2021 Recap

We’re so proud of our Simmons community for getting heavily involved with the NEASIS&T annual conference that was held on March 5th, 2021. SLIS students and professors participated in panels, presentations, and breakout sessions. The Simmons ASIS&T Chapter sponsored a panel featuring five Simmons students, discussing how their libraries adapted services in the COVID era. The panel was moderated by our very own co-chairs Jennifer Sunoo and Andrew Schofield. Check out the event highlights below to see how our students and professors contributed to the conference.

What a job well done by our SLIS community.